It's no secret that mobile devices have become the dominant online viewing tools in today's world. With smartphone saturation levels expected to reach 90% for U.S. and U.K. users in 2016, and more consumers using their mobile devices instead of their desktops for shopping, the trend of SEO optimization for mobile seems clear.
You would think then that the business response would be clear as well: Switch focus to mobile content and optimization. But in reality that opened a can of worms that businesses are still struggling to turn into bait. Here's what to expect out of mobile in 2016 – and why you should take action.
Optimization vs. Copy/Paste: The War Continues
Guides to good mobile optimization – the transfer of your online site and content into a form designed for mobile viewing – are proliferating. In fact, thanks to Google's recent changes, poor optimization will actually drop your page rankings significantly. It's strange, then, that high-quality mobile optimization is still as rare as a Bengal tiger, and a vast portion of websites haven't been optimized at all: Businesses just don't have a clue what they are doing, and in 2016 that is inexcusable.
There are several reasons for this huge backlog. Many websites were created by companies without a clear understanding of what websites are supposed to do, and very limited budgets. Lacking time and money, many companies ignore the changing consumer behavior or choose a cheap, easy port. The result – on mobile devices – is error messages, unreadable text, impossible scrolling issues, horrible navigation, and tiny buttons….oh, and no SEO benefits.
This has been slowly changing, and 2016 will probably be the year where those changes speed up and businesses begin to understand what mobile content really is and how it works. More tools, consultations, themes and packages will revolve around strong mobile optimization. If you haven't worked much in mobile, this year will be filled with new opportunities.
Getting Mobile Conversions: Thinking Differently
We linked to the Google mobile guide up there to prove a point: It's easy to find advice about mobile optimization, and we're not going to run down those rutted paths again. We will take time though to point out a few important facts about how SEO and mobile content are getting along these days. As with all things mobile, the key is thinking differently. The mobile world sees, uses, and searches in markedly different ways from desktop practices.
- Local SEO: We've mentioned this briefly before, but mobile content is an ideal spot for using local SEO, since mobile searches tend to be local in nature. This may or may not help your particular industry, but if you see a number of local clients, then make sure your optimization includes plenty of references to your address and city, both in and out of metadata.
- Loading Times: This may not sound like an SEO issue, but you'll see a huge number of bounce-backs and failed conversions if your mobile site isn't loading quickly. Mobile users are in a Now-Now-Now mode, which makes technical issues an instant dealbreaker.
- Sharing Content: Make your content easy to share with the tap of a large, well-placed social media button. Research indicates that users are more likely to share on mobile devices.
- App Content: Google is working to make sure that app content shows up in its mobile search results (including apps that users don't have), which has huge implications for those mobile searches. Apps are quickly becoming a big nugget of SEO potential, so making space to develop one is a smart idea.
- Link SEO to Results: Make your SEO useful to users. Keep it short, and connect your keywords directly to real actions. For example, make sure that your phone number is always an insta-call button so people can skip directly to calling you up once they see the contact option. Apply this logic everywhere.
Not sure where to start? Download our free Mitten Marketing Guide to guide prospects to you through content marketing. This step by step guide teaches you how to meet prospects at the right place, at the right time, wih the information they need.